Former Illini star Meyers Leonard is getting a second chance in the NBA after almost two years out of the league.
According to ESPN, the 7-footer is signing a 10-day deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.
ESPN Sources: Free agent F/C Meyers Leonard -- out of the NBA since March 2021 after uttering an antisemitic slur on a video game livestream and rehabbing post-surgical nerve damage on his right leg -- is signing a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. pic.twitter.com/sDxBJm9CPG— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 20, 2023
Leonard was traded from the Miami Heat and dropped by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2021 after using an antisemitic slur on a video game livestream.
He first was suspended by the league for a week and paid a $50,000 fine. Later on, no team took a chance on him.
Last month, Leonard spoke with ESPN’s Outside The Lines about the incident.
Leonard, who played for Illinois from 2010-12, has spent time over the past two years working with members of the Jewish community in Florida. He also notably made a visit to Champaign where he spoke with Jewish leaders at the University’s Chabad Jewish center.
Ten months after former #Illini & Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard (@MeyersLeonard) used an antisemitic slur, prompting his exit from the NBA, he’s found a surprising sanctuary: Jewish community members who were willing to educate, embrace & forgive him.https://t.co/NwwDLznRU2— Gavin Good (@itsallG_O_O_D) January 19, 2022
Today, Illini Chabad hosted a conversation with @UofIllinois ,@giesbusiness, @IlliniMBB alum @MeyersLeonard, who played for the Miami Heat. A year ago, after he used an antisemitic slur, the outcry was loud and angry. pic.twitter.com/D3B6ClMQFO— Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel (@IlliniRabbi) January 18, 2022
Leonard grew up in Robinson, Illinois, and was a first-round pick by the Trail Blazers, where he spent the first seven years of his career.